Dectes stem borer could potentially hurt soybean yields


Dectes stem borer could potentially hurt soybean yields

A pest is causing late-season damage that could hurt soybean yield. MFA District Sales Manager Jason Greenfield showed Brownfield where the Dectes stem borer had eaten vertically through soybean stems just ahead of combining in southeast Missouri. “The only way to beat Dectes stem borer is a timely harvest,” said Greenfield, breaking open a soybean stem to reveal a Dectes larva in its stalk.

“If you let those beans stay out there too long those plants will start to break over and fall over,” Greenfield told Brownfield Ag News at the edge of a soybean field near Naylor, Missouri. “It can be devastating as far as yield loss.”

Infested fields can be harvested with no yield loss before weakened plants tip over, but economic damage occurs when affected plants are no longer able to stand, according to Greenfield.

“I’ve seen it all over the place,” he said. “We’ve had some years where we’d have 70 to 80-bushel beans and guys end up cutting 15 to 20-bushel beans.”

University of Missouri entomologist Dr. Kevin Rice tells Brownfield the Dectes stem borer is emerging in several Midwestern states possibly because of milder winters and no-till farming.

AUDIO: Jason Greenfield